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Skipper earns first win at sailfish tournament

Fishing aboard the Bodacious, Islamorada skipper Taylor Walsh guided anglers Henry Danzig, Nick Stanczyk, Topher "Chris" Wightman and Allen Wood to eight sailfish releases to win the two-day Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament that ended Jan. 22, in the Florida Keys.

It was the first tournament victory for Walsh, 25, in his role as a captain.

"It's pretty exciting, but it's still a team sport and you're only as good as your anglers and mates," says Walsh of his team, all Islamorada residents.

The entourage, including mate Shay Danzig, began the second and final day of the tournament in the lead with six releases. They quickly caught a double-header, but didn't see another fish the rest of the day.

"Toward the end we were pretty nervous," says Wood, who was named grand champion angler for his four releases. "We were holding our breath for the last 15 minutes."

This article originally appeared in the Connecticut and New York Home Waters Section of the April 2011 issue.